graphic novels and 2 hymns


graphic novels

Image result for nemo heart of ice alan moore

I finished reading Alan Moore’s Nemo: Heart of Ice last night. I checked out a bag of graphic novels/comic books the other day.

Image result for march john lewis

John Lewis and the other creators of March: Book One recently won the National Book Award for the third volume of these memoirs: March: Book Three. I’m about half way through the first volume. If you clicked on the link, you may have noticed that the Washington Post refers to these books as “graphic novels.” However, it’s not a novel. It’s Lewis’s autobiography. It seems like calling a “graphic novel” is not accurate, but what do I know?

Image result for special exits farmerI started reading Joyce Farmer’s Special Exits: My Parents A Memoir yesterday. There was blurb from R Crumb on it that caught my eye. Weirdly enough, it seems to be fiction. Farmer thanks her parents in the acknowledgements. Her characters have different names than her mom and dad. It’s a “graphic novel.” Based on the lives of her parents. Sheesh.

Image result for sattouf the arab of the future

Finally, my daughter, Elizabeth, gave me a graphic novel for Christmas. She told Eileen that Zadie Smith (one of my favorite writers) had recommended it. Alison “Fun Home” Bechdel blurbs on the back. I look forward to digging into it.

2 hymns

Image result for gettin religious 1933

I ended up recommending two new hymns to my boss for us to sing in the upcoming Sundays. The first one was written on Dec 7, 2016 by Adam M. Tice. It’s called “The morning after Jesus’ birth.” Here’s a link to his website where the hymn is offered for use for free until Jan 7, 2017. He seems to be a Mennonite Seminary Student. Somehow I ran across his work and “friended” him on BaceFook. He posted his hymn there. It does seem to be a sliver of hope in a time of turmoil. I didn’t think his tune choice was the best one for my community. It’s a LMD text  (Long Meter Double which means Long Meter, twice, the 8 stands for syllables per line). I chose a Long Meter tune that my group knows and fits the season: Puer Nobis. Here’s Big Daddy Mark Ferguson playing it (chosen randomly on YouTube).


I made a doc with the words and put the melody down a step.


Here’s a link to the pdf I made of it: the-morning-after-jesus-birth. Tice asks users to report use via one-license,net. I did this. I also reported to him of BaseFuck that we were going to use it on Christmas Day. He “liked” my comment.

Image result for holy name

For Sunday on January 1, Charles Huttar suggested we sing Vadja’s text, “Now greet the swiftly changing year,” written for use on this day. It combines the feast of the The Holy Name with references to a new year.

It can be found at Hymn 250 in The Hymnal 1982. There it is set to a tune by a former music director of my church, Al Fedak. In addition the last word in each stanza is the word, “grace.” How cool is that? Fedak’s tune can be found in 9 major hymnals, Vadja’s text in 15.

Concordia holds the copyright to Vadja’s texts so I’m not putting it here. But here is the bulletin note I prepared:

Music Note Our offertory hymn today “skillfully weaves together the themes of New Year and the Feast of the Holy Name of Our Lord.” (Hymnal Companion). Since this feast falls on a Sunday this year, it takes precedence as a feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ (BCP p. 16). This gives us a rare opportunity to use this hymn. The tune was written by a former Music Director of Grace, Al Fedak The Hymnal Companion describes this tune as “as sprightly carollike” one “that captures the buoyant qualities” of the text written by “one of the finest contemporary hymn writers,” Jaroslav J. Vadja.  I will be playing it several times before the service during the prelude. The tune name, SIXTH NIGHT refers to its position in the cycle of the twelve days of Christmas.  Note that each stanza of the text ends with the word, “grace,” an added bonus for us in this community as we seek to live out our name: “Grace church.” Many thanks to Dr. Charles Huttar for suggesting this hymn for today and pointing out its meaning for us. submitted by Steve Jenkins, Music Director

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